WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 1961 (UPI) - President-elect John F. Kennedy was urged by a special task force today to push for a four-year $5,400,000,000 housing program and to create a new Cabinet department to administer it.
The sweeping proposals were made by a study group headed by Joseph McMurray, president of the Queens (N.Y.) Community College and former New York state housing commissioner.
They ranged from housing for the elderly to mass transit facilities, and included funds for college housing, urban renewal, community facilities, farm housing, research on home-building and aid to orderly suburban development.
Kennedy planned a heavy day of appointments in Washington before flying back to New York City. The president-elect flew to the capital yesterday for a conference with Dean Rusk, his secretary of state-designate.
The president-elect also arranged to receive further reports from special task forces on India, on his plan for a peace corps of young men to travel abroad and on natural resources.
The task force on housing urged Kennedy in its report to propose creation of a department of housing and urban development, with Cabinet status, to handle all activities in this field.
It also made these recommendations:
--Set up an entirely new subsidy program to provide housing for low-income families "encouraging a maximum of private enterprise participation, and giving the widest discretion to local communities in choosing their housing programs, including public housing which would be continued and improved."
--Make "the necessary increase" in FHA authorizations and program extensions. Also to provide liberalization in FHA terms and set up a new FHA insurance program for site development.
--Additional funds and authorizations in the so-called "Fannie May" mortgage program for both the regular secondary market program and the special assistance program.
--Additional funds for the direct loan program to non-profit corporations for housing for the elderly and permit it to be financed as a public debt transaction rather than by congressional appropriations.
--$500 million annually in loan funds for college housing.
--A four-year authorization of approximately $650 million annually for urban renewal, with additional funds for urban planning grants and relief for displaced small businesses, and general liberalization of the program.
--$750 million spread over a four-year period for a system of partial grants rather than loans for community facilities; broaden project eligibility; increase funds for public works planning and change to grant basis; increase funds for water pollution grants.
--Enact a program for planning grants and $100 million for public facility loans for mass-transit development and set up a presidential study commission to determine future needs.
--Encourage orderly suburban development by providing planning grants and a limited loan fund to enable suburban communities to acquire and improve tracts of land.
--A new expanded program of research in housing and urban development and encourage innovation and experimentation in the FHA program.
--Extend present farm housing program for four years, provide $450 million additional for direct loans to adequate farms, an additional $10 million to help potentially adequate farms and $50 million for improving farm sanitation.